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Joshua K. Jackson, Sleepless In Soho (2020)
Joshua K. Jackson, Sleepless In Soho (2020)Photography Joshua K. Jackson

These cinematic photographs capture the allure of Soho after dark

Joshua K. Jackson spent three years exploring London at night, taking pictures of Soho’s neon-lit streets

Exploring nocturnal London has been a tradition in art and literature ever since the Victorians reclaimed the night by illuminating it with gaslight. Writers such as Charles Dickens and Jack London documented their night walks through the city like pioneers making their way through previously unexplored territory. Perhaps it’s something about darkness and its connection with concealment and disclosure that creates such an alluring space for possibility and secrecy, but the idea of nighttime embodies a whole range of attractive associations in our imaginations – danger, illicitness, romance, criminality, or simply being out-of-step with the waking life of the majority. 

Photographer Joshua K. Jackson has spent three years walking the fluorescent-lit streets of London’s Soho at night. What began as a reaction to his chronic insomnia has evolved into Sleepless in Soho, a book chronicling his dreamless nights in this labyrinthine district of the city. Jackson’s highly cinematic images are a compelling document of Soho nightlife before COVID-19 transformed, possibly irrevocably, the way we occupy the streets at night. Taken between January 2017 and December 2019, the photographs capture Soho at its neon-saturated best: through the steamy windows of bars and passing busses, reflections in the wet pavements, beleaguered taxi-drivers cruising for a fare, and late-night inhabitants of the city silhouetted against the light of an all-night coffee shop, or kissing in a doorway.

Take a look at the gallery above for a preview of Jackson's irresistible images. 

Sleepless in Soho by Joshua K. Jackson is published by Setanta Books and is available now